SilverSneakers Keeps Seniors Healthy at Horizon Health

SilverSneakers Keeps Seniors Healthy at Horizon Health

Regular exercise is important for good health. Horizon Health makes exercise easy for seniors as a participating member in the SilverSneakers program.

SilverSneakers is a national health and fitness program for people age 65 and older. It is free to seniors who have eligible Medicare or commercial insurance coverage.

Marge Houghland, of Paris, is new to SilverSneakers and also participates in Horizon Health’s cardiopulmonary rehab program.

“Any kind of exercise helps me,” she said. “I think I’m doing pretty well for being 89 years old.”

Jody Sperry joined SilverSneakers in early 2023 and attends classes twice a week.

“I like the stretching and working on balance. It helps with knee pain,” she said.

Horizon Health has been a site for SilverSneakers since January 2022, thanks to Shannon Jones, RN, cardiopulmonary rehab supervisor at Horizon Health. She started the program as a way to inspire mind, body, and spiritual health among seniors.

“It’s like a gym membership,” Shannon explained. “I wanted to help people continue their fitness journey while also realizing cost savings.”

Many patients who participate in SilverSneakers at Horizon Health also participate in the cardiopulmonary rehab program, Shannon said. Cardiopulmonary rehab is a medically monitored program that requires a provider’s referral. SilverSneakers, however, does not require a referral.

“Though we don't medically monitor people in SilverSneakers, classes are led by trained rehab professionals,” Shannon explained. “Because we are a medical facility, participants have peace of mind that they are exercising in a safe and healthy environment.”

SilverSneakers involves group exercise. Each class lasts 30 minutes and is designed for all fitness levels and abilities. Classes include chair exercises, stretching/balancing movements, and strength training (resistance bands and handheld weights).

Classes take place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:30 am and 9:30 am; and Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30 am and 4 pm. Participants can attend as many sessions as they would like, depending on space availability. Registration is required as space is limited.

“As an older adult, regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health,” Shannon said. “It can help boost your energy, maintain your independence, and protect your heart. It is also good for your mind, mood, and memory.”

To determine your eligibility for SilverSneakers, call Shannon Jones at 217-466-4318.